Hello friends, I thought I'd throw in this post as its that time of year. The weather is getting better and we are thinking more about getting our cardio in, in order to drop those extra pounds.
For some, ‘Cardio’ is a dreaded word. For others it is a way of life and a passion they can’t get enough of.
Cardio, (short for cardiovascular exercise) is any movement that raises the heart rate and increases blood circulation around the body. It comes in various forms and methods. Some use it for specific training like organised sports or endurance events. Others to burn excess calories, to increase the bodies need to utilize stored fat as energy. Here are just a few of the many benefits of cardiovascular training.
Improved Heart Health
What some people don’t know or often forget is that the heart is a muscle and in order for it to be strong it must be worked just like other muscles in the body. Failure to do this means the heart will weaken leading to more serious health risks, such as High Blood Pressure or Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Getting the heart to pump faster on a regular basis will keep it in shape and healthy to help prevent those health risks.
Cardio exercise also increases various processes in the body; namely your metabolism. Your metabolism is a collection of chemical reactions that happen in your body’s cells. Your body metabolizes anything we put in and turns it in to energy. By increasing your metabolism and thus making it more efficient, the body has an easier time of maintaining or in other cases, losing weight.
Increased Endorphin Production
Adding more cardio into daily life releases the ‘feel good’ hormone Endorphin. Endorphin is a chemical naturally released into the brain to reduce pain. In large amounts it can make you feel relaxed and full of energy. Research has shown that endorphins ease symptoms of depression and fatigue, making cardio a good reliever of stress.
Lower and more moderate paced cardio exercise can help decrease recovery time. This can help to remove by-products of intense training sessions, such as weight lifting, organised sports and high intensity interval training (or HIIT). This will help reduce muscle soreness by transporting more oxygenated blood to muscles to speed up repair. This enables you to get back to training quicker.
For those who have diabetes, cardio exercise helps to manage the condition. It helps the body utilize glucose taken from food. Those who take part in regular cardio exercise tend to have better control of their blood sugar. This means they do not see so many drastic changes in blood sugar levels. For diabetics this is extremely important, as they are very sensitive to these changes in blood levels.
Like I mentioned before there are various forms and methods.
FOR BEGINNERS: Find an activity that gets you moving and that you enjoy. A walk, run, bike or organised sport.
FOR THE REGULARS: Try stepping it up to basic interval training, tempo training or different types of HIIT training such as, sprints or even Tabata intervals.
These are great ways to train the heart’s efficiency during normal everyday life. Like walking up the stairs or running for the bus, making them easier than ever.